Friday, 2 June 2017

Tired of modern games

It's been a looooong time since my last post but I have been pretty busy lately (possibly to be expanded on in a future post) and in all honesty, I just haven't been bothered to update DS90Gamer. I've definitely experienced a slight falling-out with the hobby of gaming of late and simply haven't been gaming that much at all. This is partly down to personal/time-related factors (which - again - I may or may not go into in a future post) and partly because I just feel tired with the modern gaming industry. I actually do have a lot of topics that I want to talk about but I don't really know how to air my feelings on them in written words. I also fear that the resulting posts may just come off as a load of moaning.

Loads of new stuff added to games I've left to gather dust...
My first wall when it comes to picking up a a game are the system/software updates that inevitably ensue upon powering up the PS4, Wii-U or even my 3DS. Now, I may play my PS4 a couple of times a week (not for a lack of wanting mind but, as I alluded to earlier, there are life reasons) but if I'm playing something else instead for a week or two then the PS4 will be hit with a deluge of updates that need installing. Specifically the games! I genuinely can't be bothered to jump back into the likes of Street Fighter V, KOF XIV or Dead or Alive 5 because of all the updates, notifications and other crap that I will need to deal with before actually playing the game(s). You might suggest that I set the PS4 to download and install updates in 'rest' mode but I'm the kind of person that tends to power everything off at the wall if it isn't being used and leaves nothing in standby mode. Partly because I'm conscious of malfunctioning power supplies and partly because if I may not use something again for a week or more, it's just going to be sitting there sipping electricity (albeit, a minimal amount).

So yes, games - the likes of SFV and KOF have had loads of new updates with extra characters and more added but I've fallen behind and haven't felt the motivation to get back to them (as much as I enjoy(ed) them before). Then there's the likes of Breath of the Wild which I absolutely loved getting stuck into when it was released but haven't been back to for ages (I think my next destination was the Gerudo village but I'd been messing about an exploring for hours instead). Games like this are huge and almost overwhelming in their size/scope and so I have no idea what I was doing before my break, where I was in Hyrule etc. etc. Yakuza 5 on the PS3 is another one: amazing game but for one reason or another, I stopped playing it and now I doubt I will remember all the combat moves that I'd unlocked or what sidequests I was in the middle of. The main reason I've not returned to these kinds of games however is the fact that I can easily sit in front of them for a good few hours at a time, immersed in their worlds and to an extent, they demand this kind of attention from the player if he/she wants to get the most out of it. I just haven't had that kind of free time recently.

(On a related side-note, I gave up with Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen on the PS3 because I'd left it so long that I had no idea what I had been doing or how to play the game. I ended up selling the game on ebay but ironically, a new PS4 port is on the way and I'm sorely tempted to give it a second chance...with very limited time however, is it even worth it?)

I actually had hype for this until Capcom revealed their DLC strategy...

Then there's the issue of most games I look forward to turning out to be disappointing. I began to feel some hype for Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite for example but as soon as I saw the Marvel movie universe-based costumes and that Capcom have already come up with a DLC programme, I just lost interest. I feel that this game will turn out to be another Street Fighter V: no content for solo players, just tons of DLC and a focus on tournament goers. Graphically (in terms of art style at least) it is boring and Marvel's battle with 20th Century over the X-Men characters means that they will be cut for Infinite as Marvel do their best to kill the X-Men's popularity and force Fox into giving up the license (a continuation of what they have apparently been doing in the comics).

Maybe I'm wrong (I hope I am) but I simply no longer trust Capcom to listen to genuine, reasonable criticism and produce games that don't have more content available as DLC/updates than is on the basic disc. You just know that it's all DLC and making players pay for things as small as colour swaps. Some people will say that this is just how modern gaming is and that I should deal with but I'd rather just deal myself out so to speak. Considering that there WILL be bits of DLC that I'll want to pick up, I'll want the retail disc for a cheap price (no more than £20) and this will mean waiting for a good while.

I'm also tired of so many games have multiple collectors/special/limited/Day One editions. Sometimes there are so many versions available - some exclusive to specific stores - all with different bits of free content that it's just irritating. Worst of all, the stuff you get inside tends to be very similar: cheap statues in enormous, flimsy boxes or some other 'collectable' crap. In the past, editions like this were noteworthy because they were uncommon but nowadays it seems like every game must have them. Again, nobody HAS to buy them but their existence and the intent of publishers adds to my apathy.

"Day Zero"? Really?
This is going to bring me onto my next moan which is collectors. Collectors have always been around, more prominently so since the explosion of retro game collecting in the mid 2000's when prices and demand both began to take off but even modern games become targets for collectors today. I won't go into masses of detail because there are standalone posts in these examples but two that jump out are Nintendo products and anything by Limited Run Games (LRG). As far as Nintendo goes, the hype and instant sell-outs around their limited edition print runs keeps on getting worse. You can pretty much guarantee that if you aren't there the moment a retailer lists a Nintendo LE for pre-order then you an forget about it. That or pay a 100% mark-up on ebay after the scalpers have ordered themselves ten copies to shift in to desperate collectors. The NES Mini situation was absolute joke and with Nintendo themselves seemingly uninterested in combating stock shortages or a poisonous second-hand market, it will only get worse.

Limited Run Games is a company that (as the name suggests) makes limited print runs of modern titles that would otherwise have been digital-only. Again, these sell out monstrously quickly on their store and get re-sold for huge mark-ups. There is a hungry fanbase for these games by LRG though and they will buy every game released for "the collection". What this amounts to in my mind is people amassing hundreds (thousands collectively) of sealed games that will never be used for what they are intended for. Collectors justify this by saying that they are simply putting together a museum or preservation of games. I say: do we really need loads of identical collections?  A company has essentially spotted a way to make a truck-load of cash by putting indie games onto discs and exploiting the collector's mindset, a way of thinking that seems to revolve around the fear of missing out on the latest release that will make their collection 'incomplete'. I was looking forward to the remaster of Night Trap until I discovered that LRG would be doing the physical edition! No fucking thanks guys. I'm not jumping through hoops and getting myself online at a certain time just to order a copy. I'd rather do what the me of a few years back would find unthinkable and go for a digital download instead.

Why does any of this bother me? It bothers me because gaming has turned into a stock market of sorts. Within some communities, it's now a case of showing off the latest additions to your sealed collection(s) and less about actually playing games and discussing them. Not to mention that people hoarding sealed games will take more and more copies out of circulation and away from those who just want to play the damn games. There are people putting together sealed Wii-U collections for example and paying £££'s for cover variants or empty boxes that only originally came with a download code on a piece of paper inside. To me, it seems nuts and I just don't understand it but each to their own I suppose.

So that's the post I suppose. I don't really feel like I've explained my position all that well and that it may have just come out as an assortment of random moans but I tried anyway. Gaming just hasn't felt fun and exciting for me in a long while now and these factors are some of the elements that I feel have changed the hobby for the worse. In some respects, it's too serious and in others, there's too much money-grabbing and cynical marketing involved.

I'll try and make my next post a more positive one but I can't make any guarantees.

1 comment:

  1. Hi DS90, it's Durst here; I went back to RC so I could see how you were doing and noticed you hadn't been on in a while, so I hunted you down and found you here; sorry to be a stalker.

    Everything you say in this thread is absolutely true and both the collectors and immediate purchasing scalpers are a pain in the neck. There is a lot of hypocrisy in the collectors field where they wish to pay as little as possible, but upon obtaining it, sell it for a truck load.

    I started collecting for the PS1 purely because I wanted to find a game better than my favourite game ever (which was PS1) and I still haven't found it, so collecting still sort of means something to me at the moment. I am also collecting for the Wii U but software only... And maybe animal crossing stuff because I love animal crossing.

    Falling out of love with gaming is a horrible feeling and it's happened to me before, the PS3 did it, Cindy's Fashion world did it and Retro Collect did it, but I always bounced back; the important thing to remember is that gaming is what you make it and not what everyone else makes it, for now, rather than getting on the hype train, rather than looking at current games, try seeing if you missed any classics in the past, maybe the not-so-distant past rather than getting something like clock tower.

    I would argue that maybe you should look for the right games, I'll drop some titles for you here and if you can go after them and see what they are all about, that's awesome:

    1: Papers please - PC/iOS
    2: XCOM: Enemy within - PS3,X360,PC,iOS,VITA
    3: Race the Sun - PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, XBONE, PC, Linux

    Just give them a bash and see if you can enjoy gaming again, as for your current situation that you may shine light on in the future, I just hope you are in good health and should you need anything at all, don't hesitate to give me a shout.

    You can (albeit reluctantly) find me on RC, or you can find me on PSN (DaedalDurst). Soon, I hope to have different platforms for things like this and I hope to hear from you in the near future.

    Take it easy,